Knight Foundation jump-starts The Artblog, Inc.’s community program, called The Artist and Social Responsibility, in collaboration with the Village of Arts and Humanities and colleges across Greater Philadelphia.
The Artblog's Artist and Social Responsibility ("ASR") Program, with start-up funding from the Knight Foundation, has created a new undergraduate initiative for students from Philadelphia-area colleges, who will learn about community-based art and work with teens at the Village of Arts and Humanities in a hands-on, art-and-social-amelioration project. The class, which launches in January 2015, introduces undergrads to their peers from other colleges and engages them in discussion and a worthwhile project. While primarily for fine arts and art history undergraduates, the class is open to students from other disciplines as well. Undergrads from University of the Arts, Moore College of Art and Design, Tyler School of Art, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Saint Joseph’s University, and Arcadia University will participate.
Through a collaboration with the Village of Arts and Humanities, the college students will mentor Philadelphia public school students who participate in the Village’s after school program. The mission of The Village of Arts and Humanities is to support the voices and aspirations of the community through providing opportunities for self-expression rooted in art and culture.
Teens at the Village of Arts and Humanities and college students will participate in a college-level class held at the Village. The class will benefit the community by showing the teens that college is within their ability and teaching them tools needed to move towards higher education. In addition, the college students and teens will be introduced to inspirational teaching artists and learn about career paths in the arts. Throughout the course, teens and college students will work together to create art projects which will instill pride, foster collaboration, and allow them to express themselves.
"This program excites me because I am from Philadelphia, and from a young age I saw art as a way to communicate,” says Temple Freshman, Kelly Lutz. The Visual Studies major, who is on the ASR program’s Student Advisory Committee, sees this class as a way to make ties with people all over Philadelphia, beyond the Tyler School of Art. “Art, especially community art, is meant to bring people together and push past comfort zones.”
Faculty from the participating colleges are equally enthusiastic about this program and have participated in curriculum development and selection of students to take part.
The class follows the “classroom without walls” model with most of the work done through visiting the community and college campuses, as well as through independent readings, research and homework. At the helm of the ASR program is artblog co-founder Roberta Fallon, who saw a real need for undergraduate art students to build a fellowship together through community art.
“Artblog has always been about bridging the gap between the public and art, through discussion and debate and through educating young people. We believe in the value of art in the community and in peoples’ lives. And we thank the Knight Foundation for believing in our ability to bring people together in this collaborative program,” said Fallon.
"At Knight Foundation, we believe the arts are one of the most effective way to bring people together and challenge them to build a better community. The Artblog’s class will instill that mission in artists as they begin to form their practice, fostering a commitment to strengthen the community through the arts," said Dennis Scholl, VP for arts at Knight Foundation, which is providing $50,000 in funding.
Above photo: Meeting April 10, 2014, of faculty and student advisors to artblog’s ASR program. Clockwise from far left is Dona Lantz (Dean of Faculty, Moore College of Art and Design), Maeve Coudrelle (ASR Assistant Manager and Art History PhD student at Tyler School of Art), Aaron Levy (Executive Director, Slought), Jonathan Wallis (Art Historian, Moore College of Art and Design), Donald Hunt (ASR Program Intern and Drexel University graduate student in Arts Administration), Angela Wang (Student Advisory Committee, Tyler School of Art undergraduate)